The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a new head coach in Lovie Smith and he is already making roster changes. Former first-round pick Gabe Carimi has been released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to Dan Hanzus of NFL.com.
Carimi fell from grace in Chicago, where he was drafted while Smith was the Bears' head coach in 2011. At one point he was believed to be the future at offensive tackle, but that potential quickly eroded as he failed to adapt to the NFL and was forced to deal with injuries. Carimi was unable to successfully shift to offensive guard and was finally traded to Tampa Bay for a sixth-round selection, which will be collected in the 2014 draft.
It's likely a team will take a chance on the 25-year-old in hopes his issues were attributable to coaching, rather than to the player himself. Carimi was highly touted out of Wisconsin, but never lived up to his billing. It remains to be seen whether his injuries played a role in his struggles.
Carimi isn't the first player to be selected early and bounce around before his rookie contract expired. Here are a few more examples.
He was supposed to be a "can't miss," a lock to be the next great outside linebacker in the NFL. But it turned out that Aaron Curry didn't have the attributes needed to anchor a defense.
Seattle selected him and gave him just over two years, but it never panned out. Curry was then traded to Oakland and subsequently released before making one last effort with the New York Giants.
Curry retired in August of 2013 after being released.
San Francisco had a middling drafting history in the late-2000s and Kentwan Balmer best typifies this era of mediocrity.
It took two years for the 49ers to realize they had a draft bust. The defensive end from North Carolina drew comparison to fellow alum Julius Peppers, often seen as the "poor man's" version. When he reached the NFL, though, everything went downhill.
He was traded to Seattle and cut. Then he was signed by Carolina and subsequently released a week later. Balmer's latest stop was in Washington before he disappeared without notice. It was an appropriately odd end to a short but strange career.
Another player from Chicago's past, Greg Olsen, found himself on the outs with coaches who preferred a more typical in-line blocking tight end.
Olsen was drafted by the Bears and traded four years into his career for a third-round pick. He flourished with his new team, the Carolina Panthers, with whom he posted career highs in yardage (2012) and receptions (2013). It was a case of a player needing a change of scenery and, paired with Cam Newton, he has become one of the most effective tight ends in the NFL.